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Notes for Teachers

(1) General Information
This resource is based on accounts of the Roanoke settlement published in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The books are available for consultation in the Archives and Special Collections Searchroom, University of Durham, Palace Green.

Map of Virginia taken from Robert Burton, The English Empire in America, London, 1739. (Routh 57 G 2)
Image of Walter Raleigh taken from John Harris, Navigantium atque itineratium, Vol 2, London, 1744 (Routh 68 B5-6)
Image of Richard Grenville taken from John Harris, Navigantium atque itineratium, Vol 2, London, 1744 (Routh 68 B5-6)
Images of Amerindians from John Harris, Navigantium atque itineratium, Vol 2, London, 1744 (Routh 68 B5-6)
Map of Virginia taken from Cornelius Whtfliet, Descriptionis Ptolemaicae augmentum Louvain, 1597 (Routh 57 C 17)
Richard Hakluyt, The Third and Last Volume of the Voyages, Navigations, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, London, 1600 (Bamburgh H6 28-29)
Captain John Smith, General History of Virginia, London, 1624 (Maltby+ M18)

(2) Contents and use of resource
This resource focuses on the first attempts to establish a permanent English settlement at Roanoke, North America. It uses accounts written by some of the settlement leaders to consider the problems faced by the settlers and the reasons why it failed.

The investigation has been designed to be as flexible as possible. Each case study could be used as a whole class resource or students could be put into groups to work on a single source before returning for group discussion. A worksheet has been provided so pupils can record their answers in a Word document, thus also providing an ICT opportunity.

As with most historical sources, these accounts were written by adults for adults and, consequently, the language may be considered advanced. In addition, pupils may struggle with the typography (for example, s appearing as f and u appearing as v). To help overcome these problems, a full transcript and a simplified transcript have been provided for every source. There is also a link to a glossary on every page. Nevertheless, some pupils may still need extra assistance. Teachers should also be aware that students may need advice on how to refer to the Amerindians. The terms used in the accounts include ‘savages’ and ‘brutes’ which are clearly unacceptable today.

In each case study, there is a section entitled ‘More Information’ which provides basic background and contextual information. A Links button also appears on every page which directs pupils to other useful websites. Since the story of the Roanoke settlement is reasonably complex, a detailed timeline has also been provided.

(3) Curriculum Links
This resource has been constructed to support to QCA Scheme of Work, Unit 19: What were the effects of Tudor exploration? at Key Stage 2.

It also supports various aspects of the Knowledge, Skills and Understanding section of the National Curriculum and could be used to cover aspects of the NC requirements for KS 2 English. There are also clear links with ICT.

(4) Ideas and activities
(a) In addition to the worksheet, a writing frame has been provided. This asks students to imagine that they are one of the settlers on the first expedition and to write a letter back home describing the problems they are facing. More work on imagining what life was like could also be done by looking at the sources in more detail.

(b) The sources we have are all from the settler’s side of the story. Pupils could be put into groups and asked to brainstorm what they think the Amerindians thought of the immigrants.

(c) How would a tabloid or broadsheet newspaper have dealt with the subject if they had been around in Tudor Times? Students could be asked to write articles that would have appeared as the expedition started out and when it returned in failure.

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